Are You a ‘Testosterone’ or a ‘Dopamine?’
Why do we fall in love with one person and not another?
This question has vexed philosophers, psychologists and poets for generations. The theories—proximity, pheromones, timing—don’t fully explain the mystery. We can be in a room full of attractive, available strangers—and be open to love—and still choose one person over all others... She found them—and, in the process, she developed a broad personality test that, unlike many others, is based on brain science rather than psychology. The Fisher Temperament Inventory measures temperament, which comes from our genes, hormones and neurotransmitters... She identified four systems, each with its own host of traits: the dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen systems. Dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters, govern our “stay or go” scale, which decides how comfortable we are exploring unknown risks or whether we prefer the familiar. Testosterone and estrogen are hormones and determine the extent to which our brains express male or female traits... People high on the dopamine scale tend to be adventurous, curious, spontaneous, enthusiastic and independent. They have high energy, are comfortable taking risks and are mentally flexible and open-minded... Serotonin types are very social, traditional, calm and controlled, conscientious and detail-oriented. They love structure and making plans... Testosterone types are direct and decisive, aggressive, tough-minded, emotionally contained, competitive and logical. They have good spatial skills and are good at rule-based systems, such as math or music... Estrogen types are intuitive, introspective, imaginative, empathetic and trusting. They’re emotionally intelligent... People high in dopamine activity and people high in serotonin activity gravitate toward people like themselves... People high in testosterone or high in estrogen tend to like their opposites.